Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Houston 2 5

When it's good it's good, when it's bad it's bad, and when...well, you get the idea.

250 Class

The Good: Jett Lawrence | 1st Place

I have to admit that after watching Jett on Saturday I didn't think he'd come back on Tuesday and have a flawless Main Event performance that resulted in the first win of his career. I guess he must have gotten whatever pre-season jitters out at the first round, because he looked like a seasoned vet out there for his second go around. I'm sure a lot of folks are thinking that this is where his championship run starts and now have him slotted in as the title favorite, but I'm still hesitant to slap that expectation on him for this season. He's had one "meh" race and one amazing race, so I'm not sold that he'll be as consistent as he needs to be to contend for this title yet. If he goes out and dominates Houston 3, though, then I may be singing a different tune. 

Jett Lawrence.

The Bad: RJ Hampshire | 17th Place (Doh! Actually 9th Place)

RJ had an unfortunate incident with Austin Forkner that put him in a bad position, but I believe he had another crash not long after getting back up that really ruined his race. He ended up crossing the line in 17th place and he's now 23 points behind the points leader, so I'd say that after two rounds RJ's chances at contending for the title are pretty much zero. He's quickly approaching the point in his career where we have to start wondering if it'll ever come together for RJ in the 250 class... One thing's for sure: he really needs a good result at Houston 3 to help get this train back on the tracks.

Edit: It was brought to my attention by a commenter below that the AMA updated the results since I wrote this article and Hampshire officially finished 9th, so I'm guessing he was originally listed as 17th due to a transponder issue or something similar. This means he's actually 15 points down, not 23 like I originally wrote. So I'd say he does have a slim chance of clawing his way back into the championship. He could still use a nice bounce back result at Houston 3, though...

RJ Hampshire.

The Ugly: Austin Forkner | 6th Place

I really couldn't believe it when Austin Forkner took both himself and RJ Hampshire out during the Main Event. All I could do was shake my head. Sure, RJ was started to cut down in the corner and because of that there was more contact than Austin probably expected, but there was always going to be contact with the way that Austin cut across the corner towards RJ's exit point. I imagine Austin was already frustrated with the mistake he made early on in the race and how Jett Lawrence seemed to be pulling away, so he just grew impatient and made a dumb move. The problem with that is Austin isn't the fiery rookie anymore that makes wild moves and we all just kind of shrug it off because he's a rookie. Austin has been racing Supercross since 2017, and he's still making hot headed mistakes. He's still only seven points down in the standings, but, my goodness, he needs to stop shooting himself in the foot. 

Austin Forkner.

450 Class

The Good: Dylan Ferrandis | 2nd Place

Dylan Ferrandis was fricking pounding the whoop section every lap. His bike was bouncing all over the place and and he looked a bit sketchy at times, but he did not give a crap because he was bound and determined that he would get to the front. That's one of the reasons why it's so hard not to root for Dylan. When he's all in, he's all in. What's crazy is that he broke his hand during the off season and wasn't expected to be 100% for the start of the season, so he's either feeling better than expected or the dude is just a machine. After two rounds he sits one point of the series lead, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see the red plate on his bike at some point this season.

Dylan Ferrandis.

The Good Bonus: Justin Brayton | 3rd Place

Justin is literally the dream rider for a satellite team like Muc-Off Honda. He will finish inside the top 10 at pretty much every round, and he's still capable of finishing on the podium if he gets a good start. The man is basically ageless, and even though I thought he would retire after 2020, I'm now thinking that he may end up racing until he's 40. Wild stuff.

Justing Brayton, Muc-Off Honda Team Owner Yarrive Konsky, and JB's longtime mechanic, Brent Duffe.

The Bad: Adam Cianciarulo | 12th Place

Adam made a small mistake in the sand that ultimately cost him a shot at the win. He's still new enough to this class where these kinds of mistakes are just going to happen. We can't forget that it took him a while to shake off the crash bug in the 250 class, too. And, honestly, I don't really think that this result will impact him much. He clearly had the speed; he just made a mistake, and I'm not sure if he really expected to contend for the title this year anyway. I think he'll bounce back and finish on the podium on Saturday. 

Adam Cianciarulo (9).

The Ugly: Chase Sexton | DNF

If Chase hadn't crashed, I honestly think he would have won the Main Event. His speed looked unreal and he was extremely smooth until he turned into a lawn dart in what was a very scary crash. It sounds like he was getting his shoulder checked out this week and then they'll decide if he can race Houston 3, or if he needs top it out for a while. Honestly, I'm just happy that he doesn't have any serious head/neck injuries after the way he landed on the face of the jump. It could have been way worse than it was, so if he ends up with only a bruised shoulder, I think we'll all count that as a win with all things considered. Chase definitely has shown that he's the real deal on a 450, though. 

Update: After writing this, the news dropped that Chase will sit out Houston 3 as he's dealing with a weak shoulder. He plans to get an MRI in Florida. Get well soon, Chase.

Chase Sexton (23).

Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson


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